John Raggio, chair of the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Nephrology Institute, displayed his continued devotion to fighting chronic kidney disease (CKD) with a recent $500,000 donation to the Institute that bears both his and his wife’s name,The Janet and John Raggio Nephrology Institute, will help sustain its innovative work on CKD prevention, focused on early detection, education and intervention.
Robert T. Mossey, MD, established the institute 10 years ago to heighten community awareness. The Institute does extensive community outreach, offering community education workshops and collaborating with community leaders to spread strategies to prevent the disease.
Alessandro G. Bellucci, MD, now leads the institute, which has embarked on a new slate of innovative community programs. One new project involves working closely with North Shore-LIJ Laboratories; Bellucci and Steven Fishbane, MD, chief of North Shore-LIJ’s Division of Hypertension and Kidney Disease, are looking into an at-risk patient population whose kidney function is between 60 and 90 percent to identify opportunities for early treatment.
The first phase of the project will identify primary care physicians treating these at-risk patients and inform them of the opportunities for early intervention and/or early referral to nephrologists. The second phase will provide those patients with tools to monitor their kidney function. The purpose is to follow these patients long-term to study their risk factors and kidney function, to ultimately develop effective strategies.
Two other programs being supported by Raggio’s philanthropy are CKD Healthy Transitions and Lose Weight To Donate. The Healthy Transitions is a patient-centered initiative for later-stage CKD patients to ensure that proper communication and optimal treatment. Lose Weight To Donate’s goal is helping qualified donors who are willing to donate their kidneys but can not because of a body mass index that is too high.
In addition, the Institute will continue to support the Fellowship Program of the Division of Hypertension and Kidney Disease. Throughout the years, the Raggio Fellows participate in important clinical research projects, publish valuable research papers and engage in community screening and education programs. Providing critical funding for the training of young nephrologists is another indispensible contribution from Mr. Raggio.